Archive for the ‘hardest hit’ Category

South Tyneside Welfare Protest Meeting – Hardest Hit/PSA

3 September 2012

Welfare Protest Meeting – South Shields

On Friday night I attended a meeting held in South Shields Town Hall, jointly held by local Public Services Alliance and Hardest Hit North East Group.  I would say approx 100-120 people attended. They consisted of local councillors, residents, representatives from various unions.

Chairing the meeting was Tina Roche (Unison), with speeches from Iain Malcom, Leader of the Council, David Miliband MP and Peter Bennetts, spokesperson for HH North East. All outlined the huge problems ahead. Tina ensured that more time was given for questions and statements from the floor.

Iain Malcom

Mr. Malcolm covered many issues that would affect our local area. Cuts to services, impact of welfare reform. He also spoke of proposed bedroom tax and abolition of council tax. Huge concerns re social care.

Mr Miliband

Mr. Miliband spoke about 3 warnings – Awareness, Protest and Preparation.

More work needs doing raising awareness of welfare benefit changes, as so many people are still unaware of what is in the pipeline ahead.

Protest – protest voices need to be heard and more grassroots groups, charities, unions need to work together. Protests, petitions, write to MPs outlining how changes are impacting on families.

Preparation – How we need prepare for the Tsunami of change, not just locally but nationally. People will need advice, support and information.

He spoke of the impact of welfare reform on families and the fear of them using loansharks.  A place for credit unions. Impact on local services. Of Alf Morris. Local housing issues.

Note

Comment was made from the floor by Stuart Bracking (DPAC North East) that there should be a 4th point made, and that is Reflection.  Labour need look back on their policies; amend mistakes made, especially with the work capability assessment. I hope to have a statement from Stuart soon to add here.

Lady from floor said that Labour need to be a stronger opposition party, as this is not visible to people.

Peter Bennetts

Peter was excellent. He outlined many of the changes ahead re welfare benefits and held nothing back, describing the fear among disabled people regarding losing their independence.  He spoke of the Hardest Hit rallies already held and informed us of the next event to be held in Newcastle October 27th. Also there will be HH members attending the A Future that Works protest Oct 20th

Participating in the meeting meant I have only managed to note down some of the topics discussed, not all, but will hopefully give you an idea of the issues raised.

Bedroom tax was raised time and time again.

Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment

Loss of DLA could mean a double whammy for families if Carers Allowance is lost too.

Employment Support Allowance and Work capability Assessment not fit for purpose

Cuts to care services will bring added pressure on carers, many of whom are struggling now.

Those in low paid jobs and effect if lose their council tax benefit and need to find money to pay an increased charge.

Loss of Independent Living Fund

Loss of local jobs as council makes cuts

Impact of welfare reform on social care – NHS and social services departments will not be able to cope

Overall the meeting went very well. It was a great opportunity for local people to come together and realise they are not alone.

As a campaigner the biggest issue for me was Awareness. It was mentioned from the front table about how councils, and other bodies/organisations do not want to alarm people too soon about the changes. This was disputed from the floor. Marion, local resident, stood up and said people need informed now. It was waiting too long re welfare reform that meant too little time to fight.

Friday was the start of our local fight and arrangements already in place for further meetings.

Rosemary

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Please sign  PAT’S PETITION

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Work Capability Assessment – Year 3 call for evidence

12 July 2012

As part of his third independent review of the Work Capability Assessment, Professor Harrington has launched a call for evidence.

He is particularly interested in views and evidence about the implementation of his recommendations and any changes to:

  • communications.
  • face-to-face assessment.
  • decision making.

Who this call for evidence is aimed at

This call for evidence is aimed at individuals and organisations who have information that is relevant to how the Work Capability Assessment is operating and what further changes, if any, are needed to improve the process.

We have sent this call for evidence document to a large number of people and organisations who have previously been involved in this work or who have expressed an interest. Please do share this document with, or tell us about, anyone you think will want to be involved in this call for evidence.

see in full here

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Please sign Pats Petition  here and ask others to do the same.

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Disabled People Against Cuts – protest April 18th

18 April 2012

Disabled people Against Cuts

April 18th meet for 1.30 pm McDonalds Leicester Square.

Let us have text contact details if definitely coming. Access needs if any too.

Action will be around benefit cuts, care funding and Loss of Remploy jobs.

this affects older people too so bring your grannies and grandads too.

Contact mail@dpac.uk.net

Press release

Photo opportunity. Meet Leicester Square McDonalds, 1.30pm

DISABLED PEOPLE REFUSE TO SIT BACK AND BE SLOWLY KILLED

Already three-quarters of disabled people live in poverty yet the Condems seem determined to push people even further into destitution. It seems that this is a means of punishing them for daring to be or become disabled – something that can happen to anyone at anytime. This is part of the new economy and Condem society of Britain.

Linda Burnip co-founder of DPAC says  “If cuts to benefits don’t kill you slowly by leaving you starving or freezing to death in winter then massive cuts to care and support funding should finish off those Maria Miller, the so-called minister for disabled people, calls “unsustainable” a bit faster. “
Campaigners say disabled people are being unfairly picked on because they are seen as an easy target by millionaire politicians and the ex-banker Lord Freud in particular.
Disability benefits designed to pay the extra costs of disability and originally awarded for a lifetime term are being reassessed. Many who were certified by medically qualified and independent doctors are losing their meagre incomes to politically appointed and performance incentivised ATOS assessors.

Huge increases to hate crimes, cuts in housing benefits, cuts in public services, the closure of the Independent Living Fund, job losses in the public sector, closure of Remploy factories when unemployment is at a record high the list of attacks is endless.

Debbie Jolly another co-founder of DPAC says: “Disabled people will be descending on London again to tell all politicians we’ve had enough. We are fed up with being vilified as scroungers by successive governments, we are sick of hearing about disabled people who have died from neglect and lack of services or who have committed suicide because services and benefits were withdrawn from them. Debbie from Leicester says: “Disabled people will be descending on London again to tell all politicians we’ve had enough. We are fed up with being vilified as scroungers by successive governments, we are sick of hearing about disabled people who have died from neglect and lack of services or who have committed suicide because services and benefits were withdrawn from them. We are angry at the constant attacks by this government  because we are seen as an easy target .We want to make sure politicians know we will not accept these attacks on our lives any longer. “

ENDS

Contact-  Linda 0771 492 7533 or Adam 07801058235

Notes to editors:

Data from Family Resources Survey and the National Equalities Panel found that:

  • 75% of disabled women and 70% of disabled men are already at the bottom end of Britain’s income distribution scale living in poverty.
  • A tenth of disabled woman have incomes below £31 per week and a tenth of disabled men have incomes below £59 per week including earned income and benefits.
  • Under the coalition government’s economy drive disabled people are set to lose at least £140 per month through direct cuts to disability benefits (initially devised to pay the extra costs of being disabled) alone.
  • The Condems are removing DLA saying that the number of claimants must be reduced by half a million.
  • Employment Support Allowance and work capability assessments have been criticised by CAB, disability charities and Disabled People’s Organisations. ATOS healthcare failures are costing £50 million in additional appeal tribunal costs.
  • Housing Benefits for all tenants will be reduced. From October 2011 for those 2 million disabled people living in private rented accommodation and from 2013 for anyone living in social housing which is deemed too large for their needs
  • Added to that funding from the Independent Living Fund for care and support has now ceased to all new claimants and any additional needs cannot be met by them

Extra costs of disability to individuals

A Rowntree report (2004) found that the weekly income of disabled people who are solely dependent on benefits is approximately £200 below the amount required for them to ensure an acceptable, equitable quality of life’

However, even if receiving maximum benefits, disabled people still experience a substantial shortfall in income. The income of disabled people solely dependent on benefits, irrespective of the type or level of their need, is approximately £200 less than the weekly amount required for them to ensure a minimum standard of living.

Source: Disabled people’s costs of living: ‘More than you would think’ (2004) by Noel Smith, Sue Middleton, Kate Ashton-Brooks, Lynne Cox and Barbara Dobson with Lorna Reith, is published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (ISBN 1 85935 236 7,

Employment

The employment rates of disabled people are around 48% compared with around 78% of non-disabled people Source Labour Force Survey, Quarter 2,2010

 Only 20% of those with mental health problems are in employment- Source- Labour Force Survey, Jan-March 2009.
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. Please click here to sign Pat’s Petition  which calls on the government to –

“Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families”

Once you have signed share it with all your contacts asking them to sign and pass on too.

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

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